game, some discussion, with her basket on her
arm, very upright. She had noted her return.
She had thought, half laughing (she was so
methodical with the tea cups) half moved (her
beauty took one's breath away), eyes that are
closing in pain have looked on you. You have
been with them there.
And then Mrs. Ramsay would be annoyed
because somebody was late, or the butter not
fresh, or the teapot chipped. And all the time
she was saying that the butter was not fresh one
would be thinking of Greek temples, and how
beauty had been with them there. She never
talked of it—she went, punctually, directly. It was
her instinct to go, an instinct like the swallows for
the south, the artichokes for the sun, turning her
infallibly to the human race, making her nest in
its heart. And this, like all instincts, was a little
distressing to people who did not share it; to
Mr. Carmichael perhaps, to herself certainly.
Some notion was in both of them about the
ineffectiveness of action, the supremacy of thought.
Her going was a reproach to them, gave a different
twist to the world, so that they were led to protest,
seeing their own prepossessions disappear, and
clutch at them vanishing. Charles Tansley did
that too: it was part of the reason why one dis-
liked him. He upset the proportions of one's